Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Lord's Prayer (A Lenten Meditation - Part Four)

"Give us this day our daily bread."

Only God really knows what our needs for each day are. And so we turn to Him. And we ask. We ask as children, having been taught that He is our Father. And we ask expecting, having learned that He is our Heavenly Father, whose Name is hallowed. And we ask, not simply for ourselves, but that all His children would have their needed bread. Today. Tomorrow, we will ask again.

How deep is the mystery of this asking. Unarguably, God knows our needs. Unarguably, He desires to meet our needs, for He is that kind of God. And still, we are taught to pray for daily bread. Perhaps it is more a relationship we are being taught into than a necessity for existence. Or, perhaps, relationship with Him is necessary for our existence. For bread goes far beyond what we need to eat. Bread is life.

Bread pushes us to consider what our daily lives require. Truthfully, unless they are much too small, daily bread is often the least of our needs. We are pushed to think. How much life do I need for today? How much life from above, from the Kingdom of the heavens, do I require for this days living? So many days, the answer is little. Or none. My daily life is completely self-contained. It is so narrowly and shallowly lived that no external resources are needed.

What would happen if we had to live up to our daily bread? If we had to completely consume all the resources given us for the day? Would we even know how to live so fully that each day is complete consumed, creating a deep demand for tomorrow's bread when it comes? Or do we try and hoard some of today's life, just in case tomorrow's bread runs short? Perhaps we even long for the bread of tomorrow, today. But no. Sufficient unto the day is the bread thereof.

And so, we ask. We ask from the whole of our being, for the wholeness of our being. We ask of One who is able to make bread out of nothing. And has. "Give us what we need for today."

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